Perhaps more important than what you should pack for a Mediterranean cruise is how to prepare. Take time to map out your days in advance, carefully choosing what you want to see based on some research and your preferences. Many of these ports offer dozens of interesting ways to spend the day, and you’ll want to determine your priorities and make any necessary arrangements — such as restaurant reservations and pre-purchased timed museum tickets — well in advance.
In addition, here are the physical items you’ll want to bring along:
Comfortable Walking Shoes: This is a must whether you expect to cover some ground in a major international metropolis or wander the cobblestone walkways of a little island.
Lightweight Camera: Ever see a tourist dragging lenses and a tripod all over a city? Eventually, he looks like he’s dragging himself. Don’t be that guy.
Layers of Clothing: In some places, you’ll want to cover your legs and shoulders to enter churches and other religious sites, and these may be in locations that are sweltering in the summertime. Wear lightweight clothing that can be paired with additional pieces for more coverage.
Euros: Change money before you leave home, and you won’t have to waste time hunting down an ATM when you arrive in Europe. Plus, you’ll have money to play with as soon as your plane lands.
Don’t forget these standard things you need for every cruise:
Toiletries: Be sure to check what the cruise line will offer in your cabin; you probably won’t have to pack shampoo, conditioner, or soap. Pack everything else in 3-ounce bottles in a 1-quart bag so you don’t have to check luggage at the airport.
Grooming Products: Keep a comb, brush, toothbrush, and deodorant in your suitcase, and you won’t have to remember to pack them. Also, if you use a blow dryer — or are picky about them — check what your cruise line provides before deciding whether to pack one.
Summer Items: If you’re traveling in the summertime, you’ll want to pack everything you need for spending time at the ship’s pool or at beaches along the coastline.
Carry-On Items: Be sure to put your headphones, reading materials, laptop or tablet — ideally loaded with movies or TV shows for the flight — in your carry-on, as well as any medications.
Clothing: Consider this basic list of clothing for a seven-night cruise:
• 7 pairs of underwear
• 5 bras, 2 sports bras
• 3 pairs of shorts
• 2 pairs of lightweight pants
• 7 tops
• 3 casual sundresses (pick ones you can roll up)
• 1 dress for formal night (if necessary)
• 4 pairs of shoes: flip-flops, casual sandals, comfortable walking shoes, and heels (Don’t pack more unless you’re sure you’ll use the gym and will want sneakers.)
Of course, if you’re a guy, replace the bras, dresses, and heels with a tie, jacket, and dress shoes.